The KM Group, a UK regional weekly publisher, is to launch multiple digital editions of its papers online using SmartEdition technology from NewspaperDirect.
The three main editions of the Kent Messenger, Kentish Gazette and Kentish Express will be going online at the same time they go on retail sale, with the remaining 18 titles and editions available online within a few weeks.
The publisher originally mailed newspapers to its subscribers, but hopes that businesses, schools, libraries and local authorities, as well as readers who live or work outside Kent, will take up the digital alternative.
The electronic versions have the same sections and supplements as the traditional hard copy paper. A range of digital tools enables readers to make keyword searches, zoom in on text and pictures, bookmark pages and print or email stories or pages. Online readers can even hear the stories being read, and have them translated into one of 11 languages.
Costs range from GBP1 for a single issue to GBP5 for 10 papers and GBP20 for 52 copies. The online editions can be sampled free of charge for one week.